Source: “Questions of Philosophy”, No. 6, 1951, pp. 143-149

To the results of the discussion of questions of logic
In recent years, many unclear and controversial issues have emerged in the teaching of logic and in published logical works.
By raising issues of logic for discussion and organizing a wide exchange of opinions on them, the editors of the journal considered it necessary to identify different opinions in the interpretation of a number of issues of logic and put an end to the confusion and confusion that exists in the views of many logic specialists. The insufficient mastery of the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism by some of them has led to the fact that this confusion, as the materials of the discussion show, exists not only on issues that have not yet been sufficiently developed, but also on issues that were resolved long ago by the classics of Marxism-Leninism and, therefore, are completely indisputable.
It is well known that thinking, the laws and forms of which constitute the subject of logic, is inextricably linked with language. J.V. Stalin teaches: “Whatever thoughts arise in a person’s head and whenever they arise, they can arise and exist only on the basis of linguistic material, on the basis of linguistic terms and phrases. Bare thoughts, free from linguistic material, free from linguistic “natural matter”, do not exist. “Language is the immediate reality of thought” (Marx). The reality of thought is manifested in language. Only idealists can talk about thinking that is not connected with the “natural matter” of language, about thinking without language”[1]. The confusion and direct vulgarization of Marxism in the field of logic basically followed the same line as the confusion and vulgarization in linguistics. The vulgarizers of Marxism—Marr and his followers—considered class language and attributed it to the superstructure. Similar attitudes existed in logic. And here the vulgarizers of Marxism considered the laws and forms of thinking studied by formal logic to be superstructural, class, and in accordance with this, at one time they declared formal logic to be a weapon of the class enemy, the basis of a religious worldview, and on this basis they expelled it from high school. As a result of this, Soviet youth did not receive knowledge of basic rules and techniques of logical thinking in high school. V.I. Lenin, back in 1921, pointed out the need to study formal logic (with amendments) in the lower classes of the Soviet school; similar instructions were repeatedly given by J.V. Stalin.
In 1946, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, on the initiative of Comrade Stalin, ordered the introduction of the teaching of logic in secondary schools. However, the vicious, anti-Marxist concept of the class character of logic continued to enjoy support from some workers of the Ministry of Higher Education of the USSR, the Institute of Philosophy of the USSR Academy of Sciences and other leading philosophical institutions of the country, which found expression in programs on logic, in books on logic prepared for publication, and even more so in oral presentations.
Opinions were expressed that since in an exploitative society logic always served the ruling classes in order to strengthen their class dominance, then by its very essence it always had a superstructural character. For example, in order No. 361 of March 23, 1948, the former Minister of Higher Education of the USSR S.V. Kaftanov, who assessed the work of the Department of Logic of Moscow State University, stated that “formal logic in ancient times defended the ideology of slave owners, in the Middle Ages it was the handmaiden of theology, and in capitalist society adapts to the bourgeoisie in order to keep the oppressed classes captive to bourgeois ideology.”
In accordance with this, the idea of creating a special, “Soviet” logic was put forward, which should be the opposite of the old, supposedly entirely bourgeois, formal logic. In the “Program on Logic for Departments of Logic and Departments of Logic and Psychology of Pedagogical Institutes and Universities,” approved by the Department of Teaching Social Sciences of the Ministry of Higher Education of the USSR in July 1949, it is printed: “Partyism in the science of logic. The auxiliary role of logic in relation to ideology.” “Soviet logic is a sharply honed ideological weapon of the Soviet people in the fight against the remnants of the past in the minds of people, in the fight against bourgeois ideology.”
Non-Marxist attitudes that the logic of thinking is superstructural, class in nature, that each socio-economic system has its own logic and that therefore it is necessary to create some kind of special, “Soviet” logic, are like two peas in a pod, similar to the views of Marr and his students on the tongue.
A direct consequence of this attitude was the assertion of supporters of the classism of logic that the logic taught in our schools should be considered not as the old, formal logic, freed from idealism, scholasticism, metaphysics, but as a kind of “dialectized” formal logic. This was clearly a vulgarizing, alien to Marxism, approach to mixing formal logic with dialectics, to replacing Marxist dialectics with formal logic, which V. I. Lenin and I. V. Stalin spoke out against with all harshness. Calling for the creation of a new, “Soviet” logic, as a single one, in which formal logic and dialectics are inseparably fused (more precisely, mixed), the vulgarizers of Marxism essentially rejected both formal logic and Marxist dialectical logic. By this, without any justification, that is, violating the most elementary requirements of logic, they rejected the direct instructions of Engels and Lenin regarding the main features and characteristics of Marxist dialectical logic, distinguishing it from elementary, school logic, usually called formal logic.
The discussion on linguistics and the work of Comrade Stalin “Marxism and Questions of Linguistics” forced the vulgarizers of Marxism to change their minds somewhat in matters of logic. They had to abandon the original concept of “class logic” as too obviously un-Marxist. But with all the greater tenacity they began to defend the idea of a “single” logic, which was entirely derived from this vicious concept, and in fact a formal logic mixed with Marxist dialectics, with the worldview of the Bolshevik party. But they forgot - or pretended to forget - that such a mixture of formal logic with dialectics was proclaimed by them in their time precisely in order to distinguish the “new”, “Soviet”, supposedly class logic from the old, bourgeois logic. class formal logic. Being forced to abandon the initial position about the class nature of logic, they want to necessarily preserve the consequence that follows from it, thereby revealing their inability to be in harmony with logic, to be logically consistent. In some published articles, the nihilistic attitude towards formal logic is motivated by the fact that logic, as a science about forms of thinking, is class-based, party-based, although the object of its study is forms of thinking that are universal to mankind, and that therefore “bourgeois” formal logic should give way to “Soviet” , “dialectized” logic. The authors of these articles vulgarize the Leninist principle of the partisanship of science, lumping together theoretical sciences about society (political economy, sociology, etc.), the entire essence of which is class, with sciences that study non-class phenomena (for example, grammar, formal logic), which, Of course, like any other sciences, they are used by different classes, but the main content of which cannot be considered class-specific.
There is no doubt that such confusion and vulgarization have a detrimental effect on the activities of researchers and teachers of logic, graduate students and students, disorienting them. Decisive and swift action is needed to stop this confusion and vulgarization.

As the discussion showed, Soviet logicians, relying on the Stalinist doctrine of language and its organic connection with thinking, made correct conclusions regarding the logical forms and laws of thinking studied by formal logic. These conclusions can be formulated in the following main points:
a) Logical forms and laws of thinking are not a superstructure over the basis, just as language, which is closely connected with thinking, is not a superstructure over the basis. Thinking does not disappear with the disappearance of one or another basis and its corresponding superstructure, it only changes. Consequently, the laws and forms of thinking also do not disappear, but only develop.
b) Not being a superstructure over the base, the forms and laws of thinking are not of a class, but of a universal human nature. The logical apparatus of thinking, its forms (concept, judgment, inference) and the laws of their functioning among representatives of different classes are absolutely the same, just as they are absolutely the same among representatives of different nations. The forms and laws of thinking are a reflection of one and the same objective reality, the result of billions of times repeated practical activities of people.
c) Like language, thinking, in contrast to the superstructure, is directly related to production and any other human activity. Any significant change in human activity is reflected in thinking in the form of the emergence of new concepts, judgments, conclusions, without waiting for changes in the basis to occur.
d) The logical system of thinking, its laws and, to an even greater extent, their theories are constantly changing and developing. However, as in the development of language, there are no explosions. The forms and laws of thinking develop slowly, through the gradual death of elements of the old quality and the accumulation of elements of a new quality.
The discussion further showed that the majority of Soviet logicians and philosophers adhere to the correct, Marxist point of view on formal logic and its relationship to dialectical logic. This Marxist point of view boils down to the following: formal logic is the science of elementary laws and forms of correct thinking. It is a collection of elementary rules on how to use concepts, judgments, and inferences so that our thinking is definite, coherent, consistent, demonstrative, and consistent. Formal logic is elementary. According to Lenin’s characterization, it “takes formal definitions, guided by what is most common or what most often catches the eye, and limits itself to this”[2].
Formal logic, being absolutely necessary, although not sufficient for complete knowledge of the subject, is by no means metaphysics, since it is not absolutized, it is not recognized as the only possible one.
There are not two formal logics: the old, metaphysical, and the new, dialectical, just as there are not two - metaphysical and dialectical - arithmetic, grammar. There is one formal logic, universal; it is a set of elementary rules of thinking, it is the simplest teaching about these rules.
The need for formal logic is due to the fact that it provides rules for logical thinking, which are mandatory for all people and non-compliance with which leads to the destruction of thinking, to chaos, confusion in thinking. These rules must be followed in order to think harmoniously and consistently. Those who violate these rules have no order in their thoughts, and therefore cannot have order in their actions, since a person’s actions must always be meaningful.
Knowledge and observance of the elementary rules of formal logic are necessary not only for schoolchildren, but also for every adult. They are necessary for party and Soviet workers, engineers, teachers, doctors, agronomists, lawyers, etc. Without the ability to think consistently and definitely, one cannot manage any area of work. Chatterboxes and muddle heads are distinguished, in particular, by the fact that in their reasoning, which violates the elementary rules of logic, they drown the living matter, introducing chaos and confusion. If a person does not know and does not follow the rules of logic, he cannot be understood; Such a person's thinking is unsystematic, and the results of thinking are incorrect. Just as a person who does not know the rules of arithmetic and grammar cannot count and write correctly, so a person who does not know the rules of logic cannot reason and act correctly. This is the meaning of formal logic.
Marxist dialectical logic coincides with the dialectics and theory of knowledge of Marxism; it, in essence, represents an identity with them.
Dialectical logic “is a teaching not about external forms of thinking, but about the laws of development... of the entire concrete content of the world and its knowledge, that is, the result, sum, conclusion of the history of knowledge of the world”[3]. Dialectical logic is applied both to the study of laws and forms of thinking, and to the study of the laws of reality. It reveals the organic connection between the forms and laws of thinking and the laws of the objective world, showing that they are nothing more than a reflection of the laws of the objective world.
Compared to formal logic, dialectical logic is a qualitatively new, higher stage in the development of thinking. Its relationship to formal logic, according to Engels' deep comparison, is similar to the relationship of higher mathematics to lower mathematics.
“Dialectical logic, in contrast to the old, purely formal logic, is not content with listing and without any connection placing next to each other the forms of the movement of thinking, that is, various forms of judgments and inferences. On the contrary, it derives these forms from one another, establishes between them a relationship of subordination, not coordination, it develops higher forms from lower ones”[4]. Dialectical logic, being the highest logic, does not eliminate the lower, formal logic, but shows its limitations. Dialectical logic is an integral part of Marxism, but formal logic is not an integral part of Marxism.
This is the Marxist point of view on formal logic and its relationship to dialectical logic. This point of view is clearly stated in the works of the classics of Marxism-Leninism.
From this Marxist point of view, “projects” for the creation of some kind of “new”, “special”, “dialectical formal logic”, or, as some put it, “formal logic of the dialectical method” are refuted as worthless and obviously harmful. Such a “dialectization” of formal logic leads, on the one hand, to the vulgarization of Marxism, and on the other hand, undermining the very foundations of the very existence of formal logic, to its complete elimination, because it is impossible to “dialectize” formal logic without thereby destroying it as logic.
“Dialectical formal logic” is complete nonsense.
The “dialectization” of formal logic in scientific and educational work has always been and will remain an eclectic mixture of formal logic with dialectical materialism. An eclectic confusion of formal logic with dialectical logic occurs whenever facts or results obtained through the application of dialectical logic are attempted to be explained by means of formal logic, or when formal logic is attempted to be presented “dialectically.”
The line of mixing formal logic with dialectical materialism, of incorporating formal logic into Marxism, is currently the most confused, erroneous and harmful line in logic, distorting the principles of Marxism.
Therefore, the task of Soviet logicians is to wage the most decisive struggle against this line.
Another distortion of the principles of Marxism is the attempt revealed during the discussion by some logicians to present formal logic as the science of such laws of thinking that supposedly do not reflect any aspects of objective reality, but are only specific laws of thinking itself. To prove this, the argument is usually given that if in nature and society everything develops and changes, then in thinking, on the contrary, the law of identity operates as the fundamental law, erroneously interpreted as the law of constancy and immutability. It is absolutely clear that this idea of formal logical laws (the law of identity, contradiction, excluded third and sufficient reason) is a Kantian, idealistic idea. It must be remembered that formal logic, like any field of knowledge, throughout its history has also been the arena of a fierce struggle between materialism and idealism. The separation of the forms and laws of thinking from reality, the denial that they are a reflection of objective connections and laws, inevitably leads to a separation of subject and object. The slightest concession to such views, and even more so their defense, means a betrayal of the basic principle of materialism. Soviet logicians must wage the most implacable struggle against this kind of idealistic perversion.
Finally, some logicians have developed a tendency to believe that formal logic is the only science about the laws and forms of thinking, whereas in fact, in addition to formal logic, dialectical logic is also concerned with the laws and forms of thinking. The discussion of questions of logic had a number of shortcomings. Some participants in the discussion took an unprincipled position of the “golden mean”, recognizing, on the one hand, that formal logic is inferior logic in relation to dialectical logic, and on the other, seeing it as a necessary component of dialectical logic. Some comrades, instead of considering the issue on its merits, limited themselves to simply quoting the classics of Marxism-Leninism, taking individual statements out of context, without revealing their deep meaning, and sometimes arbitrarily interpreting them.
One cannot but admit that a disadvantage of the discussion is the fact that many professional philosophers did not take part in it.
The discussion revealed among logicians a misunderstanding of quite clear and long-solved questions in Marxism. These erroneous, non-Marxist views have greatly prevented logicians from creating a full-fledged textbook of formal logic and are hindering the development of problems of logic; they indicate that not all Soviet logicians fully mastered the fundamentals of Marxist-Leninist theory. The path that should be followed in order to overcome the major errors and deviations from Marxism that have emerged in some of our logicians is the path of a serious, in-depth study of the works of the classics of Marxism-Leninism.

Soviet logicians are faced with tasks of enormous importance and, above all, tasks arising from the work of J.V. Stalin “Marxism and Questions of Linguistics.”
1) Soviet logicians must persistently and purposefully cultivate the skills of thinking accurately and consistently. They must mercilessly combat all violations of logical rules, regardless of whether these violations occur in students or adults.
2) It is necessary to develop, using specific material, the question of the unity of language and thinking, logical and grammatical forms, and the relationship between logic and grammar.
J.V. Stalin teaches: “A distinctive feature of grammar is that it gives rules for changing words, meaning not specific words, but words in general without any specificity; it gives rules for composing sentences, meaning not any specific sentences, say, a specific subject, a specific predicate, etc., but all kinds of sentences in general, regardless of the specific form of a particular sentence. Consequently, abstracting from the particular and concrete, both in words and in sentences, grammar takes that general thing that underlies changes in words and combinations of words in sentences, and builds from it grammatical rules, grammatical laws. Grammar is the result of long, abstract work of human thinking, an indicator of the enormous success of thinking.
In this respect, grammar resembles geometry, which gives its laws by abstracting from specific objects, considering objects as bodies devoid of concreteness, and defining the relations between them not as specific relations of such and such specific objects, but as relations of bodies in general, devoid of any concreteness "[5].
Formal logic, examining its subject, deals with it in the same way as grammar deals with its subject. When studying the forms and laws of thinking, she preserved the general and abstracted from the individual, the specific. Considering a concept, judgment, inference, she formulates rules that relate not to certain specific concepts, judgments, inferences, but to concepts in general, judgments in general, inferences in general; consequently, it is abstracted from the specific content of concepts, judgments, and conclusions. Studying the connection between logic and grammar from this side is an extremely rewarding task.
3) It is necessary to continue the development of questions of formal logic, in particular, questions about the definition and division of concepts, about judgment and its relationship with a sentence, about inference, evidence, etc.
Of exceptionally great interest is the specific study and demonstration of how the classics of Marxism-Leninism expose their opponents for ignoring and violating the elementary rules of logic in order to push through logical tricks and tricks hostile to Marxism.
4) V.I. Lenin’s instructions on making amendments to the formal logic have not yet been fulfilled and require fulfillment. These amendments should go in the direction of completely purifying formal logic from medieval scholasticism, eliminating the separation of formal logic from life, from practice. It is necessary to banish from formal logic scholasticism and idealism in the interpretation of the forms and laws of thinking, in particular, in the interpretation of the essence of syllogism, inductive methods of research, etc. Without making these amendments, it is impossible to create a full-fledged textbook on formal logic for the Soviet school.
5) In the fight against the Kantian distortion of the principles of formal logic, it is necessary to show on concrete material that the elementary rules and axioms of logical thinking are a product of socio-historical practice, generalized and fixed in the human mind. Thus, formal logic receives a materialistic justification. It is necessary to take into account that relative stability is inherent in the things and phenomena themselves, and this side of objective reality is reflected in logical laws (identities, contradictions, etc.).
6) Huge tasks face Soviet logicians in exposing anti-scientific, reactionary trends in foreign logic - intuitionism, alogism, etc. - criticism and exposure of sophistry and metaphysics in the logical constructions of the enemies of Marxism. In separate articles and books, it is necessary to reveal the entire inconsistency of fashionable logical “schools” and trends in bourgeois science, such as Carnap’s logical positivism, the symbolic logistics of Russell and Whitehead, etc., etc.
The classic works of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the brilliant work of J.V. Stalin “Marxism and Questions of Linguistics” give Soviet logicians everything they need to successfully solve the problems they face."

Source: “Questions of Philosophy”, No. 6, 1951, pp. 143-149
[1] I. Stalin. Marxism and issues of linguistics, p. 39. 1951. [2] V.I. Lenin. Op. T. 32, p. 72.
[3] V.I. Lenin. Philosophical Notebooks, p. 66. 1947.
[4] F. Engels. Dialectics of Nature, p. 177. 1950.
[5] I. Stalin. Marxism and issues of linguistics, p. 24.